February 17, 2016 Vol. 12, No. 2

· "San Ten Mori" by the Embassy Chefs

· U.S. Congressional Delegation's Visit to Japan

· Texas Business Delegation's Visit to the Embassy of Japan

· The JICC Education Program

· Prime Minister Abe's Speech: Universal Health Coverage in the New Development Era

(Photo: Embassy of Japan)

"San Ten Mori" by the Embassy Chefs

-Embassy of Japan

"Traditionally, odd numbers are considered good luck in Japan," the Embassy Chef remarked. "We have displayed this San Ten Mori (three dish set) on Japanese 'washi' paper that is arranged to evoke the image of a twelve-layered ceremonial kimono," he continued.

The Embassy Chef team chose three dishes for this display, Scallop & Pumpkin Paste Toji-ae, Salmon and Ikura (salmon roe), and Smoked Chicken with Rosemary Flavor.

The scallop & pumpkin paste toji-ae is a dish often eaten in winter (as toji means winter solstice and ae means mixing), and is usually chilled, then eaten. It includes scallops, konjac (yam potato cake), shimeji mushrooms and asparagus that were all seasoned separately and later combined. The salmon and ikura are mixed with grated daikon radish and yuzu (a citrus fruit) for taste. The chicken was smoked first and then pan seared to make the skin crispier.

"We chose chicken for the final dish to act as a balance to the seafood in the other two dishes," the Embassy Chef explained. "Leaving the chicken skin on was deliberate, as we usually eat the chicken skin in Japan."

(Photo: Cabinet Public
Relations Office)

U.S. Congressional Delegation's Visit to Japan

-Cabinet Secretariat

The strong relationship between Japan and the U.S. has been built on a foundation of personal trust and understanding between officials from both countries. To further that communication, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Congressman Jim McDermott, and Congressman Hank Johnson visited Tokyo as part of both the US-Japan Legislative Exchange Program and the US-Japan-South Korea Legislative Exchange Program and discussed important political, economic, and security issues.

During their trip, the Congressmen met with Prime Minister Abe, who expressed his appreciation for their long-time contribution to the Japan-US alliance and exchanged opinions on Japan-US cooperation.

Outside of the official meeting, Congressman McDermott, who serves as a Co-Chair for the US-Japan Legislative Program, took advantage of the opportunity to experience a sumo tournament for the first time.

The Embassy of Japan will continue to exert efforts to further strengthen the people-to-people exchange between our two countries, including legislative exchange.

Texas Business Delegation's Visit to the Embassy of Japan

-San Antonio, TX

Economic Minister Yamanouchi met with business leaders from San Antonio, Texas to discuss economic ties and the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which was just signed in New Zealand. During the meeting, participants agreed on the importance of the trade pact, and shared their commitment to cooperate together for the success of TPP down the road.

The San Antonio delegation included Jose Martinez, President of Free Trade Alliance San Antonio and Dan Gostylo of Province Commercial Real Estate Services. Many Japanese companies are operating in San Antonio, including a Toyota plant, which contributes to the city's local economic development. San Antonio is also becoming the top point of interest to many Japanese business delegations, because of its attractiveness as an investment destination.

Now that the TPP has been signed, each country needs to be committed to completing their respective domestic procedure. The support from local communities and organizations will be critically important in the process, which is why the Embassy will maintain communications with local stakeholders across the U.S.

(Photo: JICC)

The JICC Education Program

-Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan

The Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) is fostering a deeper understanding of Japan and Japanese Culture among American students. Last year, about 2,500 participants from the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region and beyond took advantage of the JICC's educational programs. These programs are typically geared towards students, and include an hour-long presentation on Japan and Japanese culture, adjusted appropriately for each age group. Students can enjoy creating origami, playing traditional Japanese games, learning simple Japanese phrases, and joining staff on-stage for a mock visit to a Japanese home.

JICC education programs also offer tailored sessions for university students and adults who want to improve understanding of Japanese culture and customs, as well as learn proper business etiquette before travelling to Japan. These programs are free to the public by reservation request.

(Photo: Cabinet Public
Relations Office)

Prime Minister Abe's Speech: Universal Health Coverage in the New Development Era

-Ministry of Foreign Affairs

"I would like to lead the discussion on the health challenges that the world faces in close cooperation with the other G7 countries."

This is what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in his speech at an International Conference entitled "Universal Health Coverage in the New Development Era: Toward Building Resilient and Sustainable Health Systems" which was held in Tokyo in December. Various governments, international organizations, private foundations, and intellectuals gathered to discuss the creation of a resilient and equal universal health coverage (UHC), providing valuable input for the upcoming G7 Ise-Shima Summit and the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI).

Prime Minister Abe announced his intentions to take up health as a priority agenda at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit and lead the discussion on health issues, particularly by improving the response to public health emergencies.